The Robot Race to Hawaii is a robotics contest where participants program a humanoid Nao robot to run a 10-meter race in the shortest time possible. The whole competition is run in a Webots simulation inside The Construct hosting platform. Participants need only a computer equipped with web browser to participate, and are not required to download any applications. There is no cost to enter.
The competition is simple, making it a good entry point and hands-on exercise for newcomers to robotics. The Construct provides the simulated environment with the robot already in it, as well as a sample controller that participants have the option to use as a starting point for building the walking controller. Because the challenge is hosted in The Construct and stored in the cloud, contestants participate via their web browser and do not need to worry about downloading and installing software.
Teachers, you can use this contest as an assignment for your students, as participants can expect to learn:
More complex topics such as writing and compiling C++ controllers, using ROS as a robotics framework, or the programming of more complex robot skills like opening doors or grasping a objects have been deliberately left out of this challenge in order to make it suitable for people with minimal knowledge of robotics. STEM high school students and first year robotics students should find the competition accessible.
Participation is open to anyone, however, so expect some pros to enter.
By the way, did I mention that the winner of the contest will get a trip to Hawaii?!?! Register here: contest.theconstructsim.com